Ukrainian startup closes seed round for gaming platform
CheckiO secures $750K investment
Photo credit: CheckiO
Sandra Vilceanu, Fri, 01/10/2014 - 08:30
CheckiO, a Ukrainian interactive and educational game and competition platform for developers, has recently announced raising an overall of 750.000 dollars in a seed round. International venture funds AVentures Capital and Vegas Tech Fund of Tony Hsieh, as well as private investors Bob Mason and Jay Batson are the backers of this project, among others. The contributions of each investor have not been disclosed according to the terms of the deal.
Investing in education
Andrey Kolodyuk, manager partner at AVentures Capital, told inventures.eu that “we decided to support a strong team with a global, competitive product. We believe that synergy and convergence of education, games and entertainment completely changes the process of education. And we hope that with the CheckiO team, we will build a market leader’s project in edutainment.”
Finding the right investors, however, was not that easy, said CheckiO co-founder Liza Avramenko. “[At] the beginning it was very hard. We had to show that we are the right people to do it and that CheckiO is going to be the top game for coders in the world.” Yet, raising the funding itself happened gradually, somehow organically, Avramenko added.
Currently, the startup does not have any revenues. “We follow the path of a community-based business – first build a community, then monetise it. Thus, about 80% of the investment will go towards salaries. Our team is growing very fast - now we have ten people (six in Ukraine, two in Las Vegas, one in Magadan and one in Vienna/Berlin) and we are also planning to extend the team in the USA. Besides expanding further, the funding will go towards offline events, increasing awareness about the company and communicating with our community”.
CheckiO’s business model has not been defined yet and Avramenko said that “we want to experiment as much as we can. We are planning on making the game more and more exciting thus we want to add AI competitions where you’ll be able to play against other players, or you'll be able to form a team and play against another team. We also want to introduce more "branded islands" where companies can put their own real software challenges to share their engineering culture. Besides, we will try to add more coding languages with Java Script the next one and many more to come later," said Avramenko.
We are looking forward to hearing more from CheckiO soon!